LAHORE: In an effort to build capacity of national institutions in efficient handling and effective storage of wheat, the United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP) has donated 500 Gunji kits (high density polyethylene stack packages) and 10 wheat cleaning and grading machines to Pakistan Agricultural Storage and Services Corporation (Passco) and another 500 kits to the Punjab Food Department.
Under two memoranda of understanding (MoUs) signed between WFP, Passco and the Punjab Food Department in May this year, WFP Pakistan Deputy Country Director Mageed Yahia handed over equipment worth $643,510 to Passco Managing Director Major General Sohail Shafkat.
In a separate ceremony held at the Civil Secretariat here, WFP Pakistan Country Director Jean-Luc Siblot handed over equipment worth $436,500 to Secretary (Food) Punjab Irfan Ali.
The Passco managing director, while appreciating WFP’s contribution during disasters, said building the capacity of national institutions was a commitment to further strengthen the infrastructure.
WFP Deputy Country Director Mageed Yahia said, “WFP has been procuring wheat and rice locally for both national and regional requirements and is therefore an interested stakeholder in improvement of quality as well as proper storage of wheat in Pakistan.”
“It is important to strengthen the capacity of Passco for wheat storage and for improved shelf-life and quality of surplus stored food,” he stressed.
WFP Country Director Jean-Luc Siblot said, “WFP has a long history of implementing a range of robust food assistance modalities to respond to both acute and chronic needs, aiming to minimise protracted dependency on external assistance and support government efforts to address rising food insecurity.”
Published in The Express Tribune, July 13th, 2012.
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